7 in court for drunk driv­ing charges

Al­leged of­fend­ers ap­pear in West­ern and Cen­tral di­vi­sions

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - Pages12,13 P

Seven peo­ple ap­peared at spe­cial court sit­tings yes­ter­day charged with drunk driv­ing and driv­ing with­out a li­cence. One of the seven ac­cused is a Land Trans­port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cer. Two will be sen­tenced on April 8 af­ter plead­ing guilty to the var­i­ous charges.

It is al­leged that these ac­cused com­mit­ted the of­fence some­time be­tween Thurs­day and Fri­day.

NAS­INU MAG­IS­TRATES COURT

Two men who were ar­rested on sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions for driv­ing un­der the al­co­hol of in­flu­ence will be sen­tenced by the Nas­inu Mag­is­trates Court on April 8. The two ac­cused are full­time taxi driver Waisake Sukuna Palu, and part time chef and taxi driver Vishnu Raman. Both have been re­manded in cus­to­day un­til their sen­tenc­ing. Palu of Na­sole and Raman of Nas­inu Road have pleaded guilty to drink­ing and driv­ing dur­ing the Easter break. Palu pleaded guilty to two counts and Raman pleaded guilty to three counts. They ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Su­fia Hamza yes­ter­day. Palu was charged with drink­ing and driv­ing and driv­ing a taxi with an ex­pired driv­ing li­cence. He was stopped by Police on Fri­day af­ter Police of­fi­cers no­ticed that he was driv­ing the taxi in a sus­pi­cious man­ner to­wards Laqere. He was stopped and the of­fi­cers noted that Palu smelt of al­co­hol and had blood-shot eyes. He was ar­rested and taken to the Nabua Police Sta­tion. Raman, on March 24, drove a taxi along Vishnu Deo Road at Nakasi while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

For ev­ery 100 milliliters of blood, a con­cen­tra­tion of 213.4 mil­ligrams of al­co­hol was de­tected on Raman. He is also charged with dan­ger­ous driv­ing and be­ing in­volved in an ac­ci­dent. He also failed to stop and pro­vide the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion to the Police. In court Rama claimed he drank al­co­hol af­ter a 10-year lapse, but Mag­is­trate Hamza re­minded him that his pre­vi­ous record showed that he had faced a sim­i­lar charge not long ago. Palu and Raman will be in re­mand for 14 days and re-ap­pear for sen­tenc­ing in the Nas­inu Mag­is­trates Court.

SUVA MAG­IS­TRATES COURT

A Land Trans­port Au­thor­ity staff who was ar­rested for al­legedly be­ing drunk and driv­ing was granted bail by the Suva Mag­is­trates Court. Asish Anil Jat­tan ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Shageeth Somaratne yes­ter­day dur­ing a spe­cial court sit­ting. No plea was taken and he is to reap­pear in court on April 11 for men­tion. Jat­tan is charged with driv­ing while un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

Se­nior Police Prose­cu­tor Sergeant Su­liano Sau­ni­toga ob­jected to bail say­ing that Jat­tan’s ac­tions could be of danger to the com­mu­nity. Mr Somaratne granted bail on three con­di­tions - that Jat­tan sur­ren­der his driv­ing li­cence, not re­of­fend, and pay a bail fee of $500. Jat­tan was rep­re­sented by Le­gal Aid of­fi­cer Yunus Singh but he has been given two weeks to ap­ply for Le­gal Aid rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

NADI MAG­IS­TRATES COURT Two men ap­peared in the Nadi Mag­is­trates Court for drunk driv­ing re­lated charges. Ab­dul Shahim and Mo­hammed Inayat Ali ap­peared sep­a­rately be­fore Mag­is­trate Chan­dani Dias.

The first ac­cused, Shahim, 37, a law firm clerk, was charged with one count of driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol and one count of driv­ing with­out a valid li­cence. The court heard that he al­legedly com­mit­ted the of­fence on Thurs­day when he was stopped at Naisoso Road in Nadi. He al­legedly recorded 118.8ml of al­co­hol dur­ing the breath­a­lyzer test. Shahim told the court that he un­der­stood the charges and opted for a pri­vate lawyer for his rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Sec­ond ac­cused, Ali, 32, who is a fish­er­man from Na­soso was charged with one count of driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

Ali al­legedly com­mit­ted the of­fence on Fri­day when stopped at Na­maka at around 2am. He al­legedy recorded 162.8ml of al­co­hol when he took a breath­a­lyzer tested. He opted to waive his right to a lawyer. Police prose­cu­tor Sergeant Pranesh Chand ob­jected bail in both cases. Sergeant Chand said Ali had re­of­fended in the past six months and was dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing by the Nadi Mag­is­trates Court for the same of­fence. How­ever, Mag­is­trate Dias re­leased the two on bail with a $1000 surety each.

Ali will be called again on April 8 while Shahim on April 13 at the Nadi court.

LAU­TOKA MAG­IS­TRATES COURT Paul Kr­ishna Sami, 27, of Sanasana, Nadi and Mo­hammed Khan, 54, of Vi­togo, Lau­toka, ap­peared yes­ter­day in the Lau­toka Mag­is­trates Court. They were each charged with one count of drink­ing and driv­ing.

Sami is charged with four dif­fer­ent counts - drink­ing and driv­ing, fail­ure to pro­duce driv­ing li­cence, driv­ing with­out a li­cence and driv­ing when not cov­ered un­der the in­surance third party pol­icy. Khan is charged with two counts – drink­ing and driv­ing and care­less driv­ing. Both are on a $1000 bail bond, were warned not to re­of­fend and not to in­ter­fere with state wit­nesses.

They will re-ap­pear at the Lau­toka Mag­is­trates Court on March 29. Edited by Naisa Koroi

Photo: Vil­imoni Va­ganalau

Vishnu Raman (left), with Waisake Sukuna Palu at the Nas­inu Mag­is­trates Court yes­ter­day.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Land Trans­port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cer Asish

Anil Jat­tan in court yes­ter­day.

Photo: Waisea Na­sokia

Ac­cused Mo­hammed Inayat Ali at the

Nadi Mag­is­trates Court yes­ter­day.

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